We recently moved into a new rental, and after eight months of living in a fully furnished place, we finally needed to start shopping around for furniture for our new place.
We sold all our furniture and electronics before moving to Canada and only came with about 15 boxes of personal and sentimental items. In all honesty, we could have cut these boxes right down to even less stuff. I really had to shake my head at some of the random stuff we ended up bringing – but at the time of packing, I guess I was feeling overly sentimental about everything, so we ended up bringing a lot more than was even necessary.
It was great fun shopping for our new home and there are lots of great options to buy furniture and homeware in Calgary, but it takes time to look around and figure out what you want. We found, in general, the quality of furniture is not as good as what we’re used to, and real wood furniture is also not as common. This is mostly to do with the climate. The air in Calgary is extremely dry, especially in the winter, and this means that solid wood items are very difficult to maintain and need to be treated regularly, so most people don’t bother.
Here are some of the best places we found to buy furniture and homeware in Calgary:
Good ol’ faithful IKEA is a great option if you’re looking for well-priced basics. I wouldn’t necessarily buy the larger items like couches or dining tables there as the quality is not that great – most of it is made from chip board and, you guessed it, chips easily. However, IKEA is great for some home basics and finishing touches, especially when it comes to kids’ furniture, décor and kitchen stuff.
The Brick has quite a good variety of items and you can find most of what you need for your home here, and everything from rustic to modern and classic, they have all styles to suit any home, and it’s where we ended up buying quite a bit for our house. They’re not too badly priced and we were able to have our furniture delivered fairly quickly. However, if an item is not in stock and has to be brought in, it can take many weeks. The customer service was also rather frustrating to deal with when we needed to return an item.
Wayfair is a great online furniture store and we bought a few items here. The options are endless so it can take a while to wade through everything to find what you’re looking for, but this can be fun too. Be sure to read the reviews before buying any item as this will give you a good idea of what to expect. Some items are eligible for free delivery and wait times aren’t too bad. We waited about three weeks for our items.
Amazon has some great basics, including furniture, home décor, electronics, and all kinds of random stuff for your home. The best thing is that delivery times are fairly quick, which helps if you’re in a hurry to get yourself kitted out.
Structube has nice modern furniture – mostly basic stuff and clean lines. Again, not the greatest quality, but sufficient for what we were needing. There are a number of stores around Calgary or you can order online. We ordered a few basic items online and were pleasantly surprised with a rather quick delivery turn around.
Ashley is slightly more expensive but has some really beautiful furniture. There are a number of stores around the city and you can also order online. Check their website regularly for sales.
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bed, Bath and Beyond has smaller furniture items and is a good place to get your finishing touches, like home décor, linen, curtains, and towels etc.
Winners and Homesense
Winners and Homesense are part of the same chain and have lovely options when it comes to homeware and décor, so great for those finishing touches.
Home Depot is a giant hardware and homeware store combined where you can find all kinds of random things for your home, from rugs, to tools, to lamps and shelving.
This is one of those stores where I go to buy one item, and an hour later, I’m still wandering through the isles. It’s a large hardware store where you can also find all kinds of random things, from camping gear to sporting equipment, toys, tools, home decor and kitchenware.
One thing we’ve learned over the last year in Canada is to keep an eye on the sales. The cost of living is certainly high here, and furniture isn’t cheap, but when things go on sale, there sure are great bargains to be found.
Have a look at online shopping in Canada for more useful info on shopping options.